>>Aqueduct | Race 6| Thursday February 18th | 3:20 EST | Go To The TimeformUS PPs
Of the pair of Danny Gargan runners, we would have preferred the scratched Jules N Rome. La Inesperada (#1), the other half of the entry, is certainly no slouch and does enter this race in very good form, but she needs to improve her speed figures to compete at this level and does not merit the 9/5 morning line favoritism assigned to the pair.
La Inesperada will also have to deal with potential pace pressure from the crew of stretching-out sprinters. Mrs. Hudson and Noble and a Beauty both figure to be more forwardly placed as they attempt to go two turns. While Mrs. Hudson (#4) does have enough pedigree to suggest she’ll handle the distance, we want to see it happen before accepting a short price on her.
We would prefer to instead stick with the proven routing types. One of those is long shot Prairie Stone (#3). She handles the distance and has been working well—both here and at Gulfstream—for new trainer Steve Klesaris, who has quietly been having a fine meet. Prairie Stone’s speed figures are on the light side, so we will probably restrict her use to the bottom portion of exactas and trifectas
Our top pick is AGAWA (#2).
This mare returned from a lengthy layoff last time to run better than it might appear. Just as she was commencing a move around the far turn, the eventual winner, Storied Lady, pushed her into the rail, forcing her to steady and lose a few lengths of position. Agawa probably was never winning that day, but she could certainly have finished closer if not for that trouble. Now she should be fitter for this second start off the layoff for Chris Englehart, who gets an 85 trainer rating in that situation. She will be a major player if she can get back to her best inner track dirt efforts from last season, and the price figures to be fair.
EXACTA BOX: 2,3
TRIFECTA: 2 with 1,3,4 with 1,3,4